The Kingswood Oxford boys swimming and diving team defended its Division II New England Swimming and Diving Championship, winning its second consecutive crown on Saturday at Roger Williams University.
The Wyverns earned the title with 437 points. St. George’s was second with 397 and Kent came in third at 306.
After graduating a large and talented class in 2016, the Wyverns faced a daunting task to get back to the top, but with some new talent as well as the growth and improvement of key swimmers, the Wyverns emerged as the 2017 Division II New England champions.
"After graduating six seniors, all of whom were double finalists at last year's New England meet, and with another double finalist no longer with the school, the boys team were in no position to repeat at New England champions or even succeed at the meet," KO swimming coach Alex Kraus said. "However, many boys adapted to new competitive events and to new roles on the team. They persevered, worked diligently, and paved the way for their long term improvement. They improved their strength, their flexibility, their technical skills, and their gained experience throughout the dual meet season.
"They also built a strong and resilient team culture and they were mindful of their sportsmanship. They learned to value each others skills."
The top finisher for KO was Jack Barry ‘17, placing 2nd in the 200 Freestyle and 3rd in the 100 Butterfly. Barry’s strong swimming was supported by Tim Petit ‘18, 5th in 200 Freestyle and 3rd in 100 Freestyle, John Hagberg ‘19, 2nd in 50 Freestyle and 4th in 100 Freestyle, Ethan Brown ’20, 2nd in 500 Freestyle and 4th in 100 Backstroke, and Captain Noah Hawks-Ladds ’17, 3rd in 500 Freestyle and 5th in 100 Backstroke.
Also swimming well were Jaron Stake ‘18 (8th in 200 Freestyle and 8th in 500 Freestyle), Ellis Winfree ‘19 (5th in 50 Freestyle and 8th in 100 Butterfly), and Kyle Zimmerman ‘18 (5th in 200 IM and 8th in the 100 Breaststroke) who all placed in the finals (top 8 finishers) in both of their individual events.
Other standout performers included Kian Issari ‘18 who placed 7th in Diving and 11th in 100 Butterfly, Harry Krause ‘18 who finished in 9th in the 50 Freestyle and 13th in the 100 Freestyle, Jamie Amell ‘20 who placed 10th in the 200 IM and 6th in the 100 Breaststroke, Ben Zamstein, who placed 13th in the 500 Freestyle and 12th in the 100 Backstroke, and Tom Betts ‘19 who finished 12th in the 200 IM and 9th in the 100 Breastroke.
Divers Carter Castanza ‘18 (2nd) and Eli Brandt ‘23 (4th) were also instrumental to the Wyverns’ success as KO was the top diving school in the boys’ division.
"All of their hard work throughout the season showed at that championship meet. They all competed at least one new, difficult dive and scored well," KO diving coach Sarah Thomsen said. "They stayed focused and poised during a long 11 dive meet. I am very proud of their work this season and look forward to next season."
Excellent swims that couldn’t score because each team is limited to three scoring athletes included Nick Traver’s 14thplace in 50 Freestyle and 16th place in the 100 Freestyle as well as Prithvi Gunturu’s 13th place in the 100 Breaststroke.
In the relays, KO showed strong swimming and flexibility, as many different swimmers contributed to the Wyverns success. Taking 3rd in the 200 Medley Relay were Ethan Brown ’20, Jamie Amell ’20, Kyle Zimmerman ’18, and Harry Krause ’18 with a season’s best time. In the 400 Free Relay, the Wyverns took 2nd as Tim Petit ’18, Noah Hawks-Ladds ’17, John Hagberg ’19, and Jack Barry ’17 swam to a season’s best time and the second fastest KO time ever.
The quartet of Tim Petit ’18, Kyle Zimmerman ’18, John Hagberg ‘19, and Jack Barry ’17 finished 1st in the 200 Free Relay in a season’s best time that was also the second fastest time in KO history.
"In both sessions of the New England championship meet (morning trials and afternoon finals) they swam courageously and they supported one another with enthusiasm and energy," coach Kraus said of the team. "Throughout the meet's ups and downs, they were determined to race well. They persevered and succeeded in defending their New England championship title."
The Kingswood Oxford girls swim team finished in 8th Place. Some top performances included the 200 Medley Relay team of Amanda Civitello, Grace Amell, Laura Polley, Olivia Shea which came in sixth.
Noa Boyd was 15th in the 200 Freestyle, Civitello was sixth in the 200 IM, Emma Ouellette came in 11th in the 50 free, Laura Polley was 13th in the 100 fly and Grace Amell finished 15th in the 100 free.
Civitello was 5th and Boyd 14th in the 500 free, The 200 Freestyle Relay team of Noa Boyd, Laura Polley, Grace Miller and Manisha Satheesh came in 6th, Grace Amell was 5th in the 100 Breaststroke and the 400 Freestyle Relay team of Noa Boyd, Emma Ouellette, Amanda Civitello and Grace Amell was 7th.